Over 25,000 people expected to attend tech conference 'Collision' in Toronto

Over 25,000 people expected to attend tech conference 'Collision' in Toronto

It’s being touted as one of the fastest growing tech conferences in North America, and for the first time Collision will be hosted in Toronto.

The conference is in its fifth year and was previously hosted in the U.S., but Paddy Cosgrave, the event’s founder and CEO said when he announced it will be hosted in Canada, he received some criticism.

“A lot of people on social media thought it was a crazy idea and that we should have gone to San Francisco,” he said, adding that Toronto has a vibrant tech scene which is why the city was chosen.

“This is an amazing city. It’s huge and it’s growing and tech is booming and people are going to find out about that over the next four days.”

Over 700 speakers will be participating in the four day event and organizers say over 25,000 people are expected to attend.

“[People] are going to hear from some of the leading figures behind some of the most interesting, fast-growing new companies in the world and they will also hear from some of the most established names in tech,” Cosgrave said.

Event speakers include Microsoft’s executive vice-president Peggy Johnson, Shopify’s CEO Tobias Lutke and Hollywood celebrities Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at the event’s launch.

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“What a pleasure it is to sit down with Paddy and talk about this great conference – this opportunity to gather together tech brains from around the world and highlight some of the great things happening in Canada but also how we can move forward in a way that is responsible, thoughtful, creative and most importantly brings along everyone’s path to success,” he said.

Cosgrave said people from over 125 countries will be attending the conference.

“We’ve got people from 125 countries all over the world,” he said.

“People have flown in some cases from Polynesia, Jamaica, Brazil, South Africa…huge distances to be here.”

Farhan Mahboob came to the conference from New York and said Toronto’s tech scene is up and coming.

“We are seeing a transition of talent from the U.S. to Toronto for certain reasons… low cost and the variety of skillsets is quite good,” he said.

The event runs until Thursday at the Enercare Centre.